Researchers tracking the changing attitudes found that young men from
countries where the practice is widespread who now live in Britain
actively seek a wife who has not been “cut”.
But some older women immigrants continue to support the practice, believing it is important for the marriage prospects of girls.
interviewed UK residents originally from countries where FGM is
carried out, in 2010 and again this year, to find out if their views
about it had changed.
The survey, carried out by a group of
charities that form the FGM Special Initiative, also found victims of
FGM in London receive the best medical care, and that increasing numbers
of people know FGM is against the law here.
continue to support FGM but have less influence on households, and
religious leaders have helped to convince some older men that FGM should
be stamped out.
Hekate Papadaki from the Rosa campaign group,
said: “We are seeing positive change in communities and this is tangible
proof that culturally sensitive, community-focused work can help end
FGM in this country. However, we are dealing with deeply ingrained
cultural norms and there is a long road ahead of us.”
questioned people who have moved to the UK from countries including
Somalia, Sudan and Egypt where FGM is widespread. It found that some
young men born in this country do not know about FGM, which can involve
slicing off a girl’s clitoris and sewing her vagina shut to supposedly
keep her pure for marriage.
But when the men are told about FGM
they strongly oppose it, the report said. It added: “Several examples
were also given of older men expressing guilt at having condoned or
tolerated it within their families.” Mosques in London are helping
change attitudes significantly by telling people that FGM is not
advocated in the Koran.
NHS staff in the capital were praised in
the report for treating women who suffer FGM “with greater care and
sensitivity”. The survey also says older women in some communities
still object to FGM being discussed.
The London-based Ocean Somali
Community Association told researchers: “Those who speak out are
stigmatised and accused of being brainwashed, and sometimes even
attacked in public.”